More than a few fans continue to clamor for a Manny Machado deadline deal, but it doesn’t seem likely. Let’s look at some more probable targets this summer.
On the year, Machado is batting .304/.371/.554, putting him on pace for a career season. Of course, it’s going to waste with the Baltimore Orioles arguably performing as the worst team in baseball.
I know there are reports out there suggesting that Machado would re-sign with the Cubs, but I don’t know if I’m willing to trade multiple high-end, players for the mere possibility of Machado returning in 2019.
Teams are already making moves
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The Washington Nationals are thought to be one of the Cubs’ strongest competitors in the National League. They seem focused on getting over the hump and advancing in this year’s postseason, evidenced by their recent acquisition. They made a deal with the Royals to acquire Kelvin Herrera in exchange for three minor leaguers.
Herrera had been tied to the Cubs as a potential deadline target. With the bullpen overtaxed already, he could have been a nice get. Instead, he heads to the rival Nats, hoping to capitalize on the last year of Bryce Harper in D.C.
What Do the Cubs need?
The Cubs need bullpen depth. One might find that hard to believe, but Chicago could use some help in their already solid relief corps.
It isn’t a need based on poor performance, but it’s because the pen has been overtaxed over the first half of the season. The starting rotation has shown an inability to work deep into the games, and because of that, a tremendous strain has been placed on the Cubs bullpen.
It is becoming increasingly harder to find decent relief pitching at an affordable trade price. With that in mind, and the fact that the Cubs aren’t likely to part with any of their top prospects the list is rather small.
However, there are a couple of names to keep an eye on.
Potential bullpen arms Cubs could target
The Cubs had their eye on 29-year-old Addison Reed during the winter before he signed with the Twins. He has had a very uneven start to his Twins tenure. He has a 3.78 ERA in 33 1/3 innings.
Control issues plagued the right-hander in 2018. If he can get back to doing what he did over the last few years while bouncing around the league, he could provide a nice shot in the arm. Plus, he comes with team control through next year, an added bonus.
On the South Side, Joakim Soria is flying under the radar with the White Sox. He has converted ten save chances and has pitched to a solid 3.00 ERA. He could be the most likely traded player. Everybody knows the Sox are trying to rebuild through their farm system and a mid-30s reliever doesn’t exactly fit the bill.
Just a matter of time for Theo & Jed
The Cubs need to make a trade. That being said, they don’t necessarily need a blockbuster deal as in recent years. They do, however, need relief pitching to bring a fresh arm to the overworked bullpen.